In a marathon general body meeting (GBM) that lasted for two days, the teachers of Delhi University have decided to continue their strike at Vice Regal Lodge for ‘one-time absorption’. The strike will continue even after the “relief” from the Ministry of Human Resources Development, saying that the ad-hoc teachers could continue with their positions till the posts are filled with permanent faculty.
The teachers of the prestigious university went on strike boycotting all evaluation duties after the talks between Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and university administration failed over the withdrawal of a contentious circular of August 28 which mandated the demotion of ad-hoc teachers to the status of guest teachers.
Amending the August 28 Circular, the letter by MHRD dated December 5 said, “Colleges/institutions shall fill up permanent vacancies before the start of the next academic session without fail. During the interim period, if vacancies which have to be filled for maintaining smooth academic functioning of colleges/institutions, ad hoc/temporary/contract/guest faculty can be appointed.”
Talking to NewsClick, DUTA Executive Council member Jitendra Meena said that the GBM resolved that the strike will continue until their demand regarding absorption is met. He added that it can be done either through Parliament or Delhi University. However, the teachers are expected to discuss this in another meeting. “We have also decided to take a teachers’ march to MHRD on Monday,” he said.
NewsClick talked to a few teachers to understand their position on absorption. A few teachers, while narrating their ordeal, appeared divided on the issue. However, all shared a firm belief that their ordeal must end.
Laxman Yadav, a teacher of Hindi at Zakir Hussain College said that the issue should be resolved via Parliament by passing a resolution. He said, “I have been teaching at Delhi University for past eight years. The teachers are required to jump from a college to another, as there is a stay on the permanent positions. As we are growing old, our chances are getting limited because our experience will be only be counted for the Delhi University alone. When we approach other universities, we are not given due importance. We have been told several times that we will get a permanent position in ‘your own university, why are you troubling yourself’ by applying elsewhere.”
Another teacher who requested anonymity said that a young teacher had died a few years ago after getting sick with dengue. Since he hardly had any savings, we collected almost Rs 12 lakh and donated to his family.
Dr Ritu Singh, a teacher at Daulat Ram College in Delhi University, narrated the experience of Dalit teachers who could not be recruited owing to the lack of clarity over the posts. She said, “One needs to understand that these teachers were first-generation learners and the teaching jobs are almost a way to redemption for them. First, we fought the 13-point roster, as it denied constitutional provisions through design. Then, we see the circular saying that for all the non-permanent positions, hiring will be done through guest teachers. Now, no reservation is complied with while recruiting for these positions. With these draconian measures, the government is denying us any chance at upward mobility. But we fought them for 200-point roster and got it back. We will fight tooth and nail and get absorption.”
Also watch: Delhi University: Ad-hoc Teachers on Warpath